Thoughts on Creating “Developing a Designer’s Eye” Course

“Take care of the being, and the doing takes care of itself.” ~Ann Berlage (my amazing mom)

Venturing into the world of design can feel like a forest (or a minefield) of rules.  Do this, don’t do that…  This, compared with the nearly endless panoply of possibilities can leave you feeling frozen, confused, or intimidated in the face of the blank page.  Where does one even begin?

As a prolific practicing artist, the perspective that I’m going to bring to this course is the essential need to step back from the “do this, don’t do that” level of discourse to spend time nurturing your creative being and creative journey.

Being a designer is a facet of being an artist—a lifelong journey and way of looking at and experiencing the world, with its circuitous, cyclical, and divergent ways of manifesting.  The lack of time the art world spends on nurturing the human side of its designers is a travesty, as much of mainstream art education assumes you’ve already worked on this on your own.

We all instinctively know the difference between an inspired novel or piece of music, compared to a formulaic one.  The same is true in the visual arts.  To create inspired work, we need inspired artists who have nurtured and liberated their creativity.

Offering the opportunity for you to embrace that journey is what this course is all about!  So, take a deep, regenerative breath, remind yourself that you are more than worth it, and extend a compassionate hand to your inner artist (often visualized as a young version of yourself).  Let’s take this adventure together.

Here are some of the topics we’ll explore together, accompanied by exercises to engage with your design journal.

  • The Value of Focused Intention and Attention
  • Nurturing a Creative Lifestyle
  • Reframing Our Relationship with Drawing
  • Creativity vs Productivity:  Yin and Yang
  • Building Your Compost Pile
  • Reframing the Conversation on Art vs. Craft
  • Reframing Our Relationship with the Inner Critic
  • You’ll Never Please Everyone, So Do What You Love with Enthusiasm
  • Reframing Our Relationship with Discipline

Every journey begins with a few steps, and it always begins where you are, in this moment, now.  It starts with what you have, and as the journey slowly spirals outwards, you find that new conversations, new ideas, and new perspectives become a part of your world.  There are no straight lines on the journey, but instead the spiral invites us to revisit concepts or situations again, only this time armed with new knowledge, insight, and experiences.

From a cup well-filled and a vital heart well-tended will spring forth blooms and fruits of bountiful creativity.  That is my wish for you through this course, as we do the work within before tackling the next chapters in mastering facets of design.

May your design journal be bursting with ideas, collected treasures, big questions, and joy.

Interested in learning more?  Find class details here.